August 27, 2018 9:38:50 AM
Slim Smith - [email protected]
Unemployment rates fell in three of four area counties in July, according to the monthly labor report released by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security as summer jobs ended and students begin leaving the workforce.
Only in Clay County did July's unemployment rate exceed that of June -- by 0.3 percent.
All four counties' jobless rates were well below the rates a year ago.
With students entering and leaving the workforce at various times of the year, the 12-month moving average is probably a better indicator of unemployment in the Golden Triangle. Oktibbeha County's 12-month unemployment rate is 4.5 percent, followed by Lowndes (5.0 percent) Clay (6.2 percent) and Noxubee (7 percent).
Statewide data also shows continuing positive trends.
For the fourth month in a row, the Civilian Labor Force, composed of everyone who has a job or is looking for a job, increased by 3,400 in July to 1,284,900. Over the year, the Civilian Labor Force rose by 5,000. Since July 2017, the number of unemployed Mississippians fell by 4,200, and the number of working Mississippians rose in July by 2,900 to 1,223,800, which is the highest number of Mississippians with jobs in more than 10 years (June 2008).
In July 2018, there were 2,800 fewer jobs in Mississippi than in June 2018, according to the seasonally adjusted results from a survey of Mississippi employers. Over the year since July 2017, the number of nonfarm jobs increased 13,600.
Seasonally adjusted data removes the effects of events that follow a more or less regular pattern each year such as the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events.
Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is [email protected]